Jamaica arrived at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as heroes. There was so much to admire about the Reggae Girlz: how they overcame their own federations neglect — with help from Bob Marley’s daughter — to become the first Caribbean nation to ever qualify for the event; how Bunny Shaw took the team to another level while overcoming the personal tragedy of losing four brothers, three of them to gang-related violence; how they have the youngest squad at the tournament, including 17-year-old forward Jody Brown and 19-year-old goalkeeper Sydney Schneider.
But the World Cup has been something of a chastening experience on the pitch for the world’s 53rd-ranked side. A 3-0 loss to Brazil was followed by a 5-0 defeat to Italy, and any hope of an improbable spot in the Round of 16 was extinguished.
You could forgive Jamaica for crumbling against sixth-ranked Australia during today’s match at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, especially after entering the locker room at halftime trailing 2-0 after a brace from the remarkable Sam Kerr.
However, the Reggae Girlz dominated the opening period of the second half, and their reward was a first-ever Women’s World Cup goal, scored by Havana Solaun and assisted by Bunny Shaw.
#WWCTelemundo ¡De esta forma, Havana Solaun se quitó a la arquera y mandó el balón a las redes!Primer gol con la selección mayor femenina de #JAM.
Primer gol de #Jamaica en una Copa Mundial Femenina.
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 18, 2019